UPDATE: Atlanta Airport 'Accidental Gun Discharge' Caused by a Convicted Felon, Now on the Lam

(AP Photo/TSA)

As RedState reported on Saturday, travelers going through Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport received quite a scare when an “accidental” discharge of a gun was thought to be an active shooter.

Hartsfield-Jackson is among the Top 5 busiest in the United States, and it is actually the number one busiest in the WORLD, beating out Beijing for international passengers flowing through its portals. So, any incident of this nature is a disruption of not only flight traffic, but to the emotions and the psyche of every staff member, traveler, and people who are waiting for those travelers to make it to their appointed destinations. Three people were injured as a result of the rush of passengers to exit the airport, but with the panic involved, it could have been more.

Thankfully, there was no active shooter, and no one was shot.

The Guardian presents a fuller story:

A passenger awaiting a search at the Atlanta airport’s main security checkpoint reached in his bag and grabbed a firearm, and it went off, causing chaos among travelers, officials said.

The passenger ran with the gun from the checkpoint and escaped out an airport exit, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said. Authorities described the discharge as accidental.

Police said later they had issued a warrant for the arrest of the passenger, 42-year-old Kenny Wells, who they identified as a convicted felon.

The airport’s police commander, Maj Reginald Moorman, said Wells was being sought on charges including carrying a concealed weapon at a commercial airport, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, discharging a firearm and reckless conduct.

“We are actively pursuing this individual as we speak,” Moorman said at a news briefing Saturday evening with TSA and airport officials.

Because why would a law-abiding gun owner bring a loaded gun to the airport? Answer: They wouldn’t. Those who choose to travel with their firearms know that they are to be unloaded and in a locked case, then packed into their checked on luggage.

Passengers caught with firearms at airport checkpoints face a civil penalty. The TSA says firearms may be allowed in checked baggage when they are unloaded and packed in a locked, hard-sided case.

Remember, I said, “law-abiding.” As a convicted felon who should not have been carrying a gun in the first place, Kenny Wells could not be counted among that number.

Sadly, the airport communications was slow with keeping passengers informed, so many people took to social media to express their fear, confusion, and to lay out the usual hot takes.

The discharge caused a frenzy on social media as alarmed travelers posted videos to Twitter and other sites showing and describing moments of chaos and confusion at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta international airport, one of the nation’s busiest.

Authorities said three people suffered minor injuries. A TSA official said no one was shot.

“We were fortunate that when the firearm went off, no one was seriously injured,” Robert Spinden, the TSA’s director of federal security for Georgia, said at the airport briefing. Officials didn’t immediately disclose the type of weapon involved.

Some of the hot takes were humorous, musing on whether Alec Baldwin was traveling. Others were salty and incorporated the recent Kyle Rittenhouse verdict in their takes.

Watch the #AtlantaAirport accidental discharge suspect get more time and more charges than #KyleRittennhouse

But many just needed to “go there” about gun rights and gun laws.

Leading the charge, Bernice King, Georgia resident and daughter of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It’s so sickening to even see how terrified people were by what they thought was an active shooter at the #AtlantaAirport today.

And it could have been one.

The United States of America is ridiculously irresponsible and callous concerning guns.

I respect and admire Dr. King. His children are another story. The United States of America is neither irresponsible nor callous concerning guns; if this were the case there would be no gun laws at all! We would be back to the Wild West, where nobody needed a license, everyone was armed, and everyone knew it.

The convicted felon Kenny Wells chose to disregard the gun laws. That’s not on the United States, that’s on him. King is showing herself to be another gun control advocate that wants to blame the gun for the action, rather than look at the circumstances behind why the person wielded it.

So disappointing.

Then we have Harvard Professor Juliette Kayyem who sees this incident as an example of a permissive gun culture where owners violate the law.

#AtlantaAirport yesterday is about a system that identified a loaded gun, a security gap that allowed a felon to escape, a slow comms response and separately exposed a gun culture that seems so permissive, owners are repeatedly violating it. Will explain @cnn in 2 pm @FWhitfield

<insert *eyeroll* emoji here>. The lack of knowledge and disconnect on what gun laws actually entail, what gun safety should entail, and the actual behavior of law-abiding citizens who own guns is stunning. And, big surprise, she’s a CNN analyst. Her awful analysis doesn’t get far, since CNN’s ratings are in the toilet anyway.

Ms. Kayyem and Ms. King need to sit down, and people need to calm down.